Desperate man takes his life

2010-02-16 00:00

WITH the memories of burying her son at the weekend still fresh in her mind, an elderly woman is battling to come to grips with his death by suicide two weeks ago.

Thamsanqa Cebekhulu (24) was found hanging from the ceiling of his mud room, just a few feet from the main house.

He was discovered by his younger brother on Friday morning, after his family had not seen him all morning.

It is believed he committed suicide after having paid a R1 000 “fee” after being promised a job as a security guard.

His mother, Ntombisa Cebekhulu (76) of Emaqeleni, which is near Unit J in Imbali, said her son was respectful and kind-hearted.

“He didn’t work, but he was very helpful around the house and even to neighbours.

“Whenever something broke and needed fixing he was always there …”

She said Thamsanqa was so responsible that his older sister Nonhlanhla usually left her bank card with him so that, whenever she was paid, he could access the money to take care of things even when she was working out of town.

Nonhlanhla relies on temporary work to supplement her mother’s pension grant, which supports the household.

She said Thamsanqa had spoken about his disappointment at his joblessness shortly before he committed suicide.

She said Thamsanqa was feeling guilty for not being able to contribute towards his big family’s upkeep.

Cebekhulu has three grown children remaining. One of her sons disappeared while the rest of her children, including Thamsanqa, have died. But she also has eight grandchildren to look after, one of whom is Thamsanqa’s child.

Thamsanqa had told his sister that he had not found money in her bank account. She now believes he was trying to put together the R1 000 for the fee he had not told anyone about.

She said she did not make anything of it at the time, thinking that maybe the account was closed.

She had come back to inquire at the bank the Thursday before her brother was found dead.

“My brother and I were very close … what saddens me is that he couldn’t come and talk to me.”

They have since learnt from Thamsanqa’s younger brother that he confessed to being very stressed after using his sister’s money without permission.

Thamsanqa told him about paying R1 000 to a man who pro­mised him work. But then the man disappeared with the money.

Cebekhulu said that on the afternoon of his death, he insisted on going to a man in the area owning a security company after receiving news that he was hiring.

When he did not come back to report on how things went, and having not seen him in the morning, she became worried.

“The children told me that they had been calling for him all morning. I told his younger brother and he went banging on the door. He eventually decided to break it down when he didn’t open. And the next thing I heard was screams. He kept asking, ‘Why did you have to kill yourself?’.”

Provincial police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said people taking fees from job seekers is not rife in KZN, but he added: “It is a grave concern that people would opt to exploit young people desperate for work. Our message to the general public is to guard against such exploitation. When you seek employment you are not required to pay a fee …”

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